Occupational Safety and Health

Pakistan considers ratifying two ILO fundamental conventions on Occupational Safety and Health

Pakistan, paving the way towards ratification of two ILO fundamental Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) conventions, reviews its own policies and discusses the new ILO OSH conventions.

Press release | Islamabad, Pakistan | 21 September 2022
ISLAMABAD (ILO News)– The Government of Pakistan is considering ratifying two ILO Occupational Safety and Health Conventions, as part of its obligations to meet international standards.

Representatives from the Government of Pakistan, as well as workers’ and employers’ organizations reviewed provincial and national policies on Occupational Safety and Health and discussed the ILO conventions at a national tripartite workshop on Occupational Safety and Health, co-facilitated by the Pakistan Ministry of Oversea Pakistani and Human Resource Development and the ILO, on 13-15 September.

Under discussion were ILO Fundamental Conventions on Occupational Safety and Health Convention No.155 and the Promotional Framework for Occupational Safety and Health Convention No. 187.

Mr Mohamad Wishag, Joint Secretary of Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis & Human Resource Development, said: “Safe and healthy working conditions are fundamental to decent work and thus creating safe, healthy and productive working environments are an increasingly important agenda for the socio-economic development in Pakistan.”

“The country’s OSH policy-legislative frameworks, inspection systems, occupational accident and disease reporting systems, and OSH training systems for workers and employers need to be reviewed and strengthened,” Mr Wishag added.

The initiative was supported by the ILO’s International Labour and Environmental Standards Application in Pakistan’s SMEs (ILES) Project, which is funded by the European Union.

Dr Stephen Langrell, Head of Rural Development and Economic Cooperation of the European Union Delegation to Pakistan reiterated that “the 12 Million Euro EU funded ILES project aims to strengthen, implement and enforce existing and new legislation and to promote respect for, and compliance with, international labour and environmental standards in Pakistan. As such, its activities play an important role in helping support Pakistan in its compliance with such standards conditional for preferential EU market access under the GSP+ scheme, of which OSH is one. This workshop served as an important advance in these efforts, gathering stakeholders from across industry and government (both federal and provincial) in profile raising and dialogue as a step towards possible OSH ratification”.

Ms Khemphone Phaokhamkeo, the Project Manager of the ILES Project emphasized that developing and implementing good national and provincial OSH policies and legislation will help create and maintain safe, healthy and productive workplaces where workers are protected against OSH hazards and risks, and continuously promote a national preventive safety and health culture.

“This will also pave the way towards ratification of the two fundamental OSH conventions. By ratifying the two OSH conventions, Pakistan would demonstrate its commitment to respect and promote these principles and rights. It is also important that all key stakeholders are consulted and have greater awareness on both Conventions and related obligations,” said Ms Phaokhamkeo.

The International Labour Standards on safe and healthy working environment, Conventions No.155 on Occupational Safety and Health and No.187 on Promotional Framework for Occupational Safety and Health Convention, were added to the ILO’s Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work at the 110th International Labour Conference this year.

Convention No. 155 provides for the adoption of a coherent national occupational safety and health policy, as well as action to be taken by governments and within enterprises to promote occupational safety and health to improve working conditions.

Convention No. 187 is aimed at establishing and implementing coherent national policies on occupational safety and health through dialogue between government, workers’ and employers’ organizations and to promote a national preventive safety and health culture.